ClarkVV (6642) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 23, 2004
2004 draft. First of all, I checked with the head brewer to make sure this was a different recipe than the Big N Bold Barley. He said it was and that it had a much higher hops content and a higher alcohol content. Light mahogany brown with some yellows mixed in. Good lightly brown/off-white head. It was very clear however. Aroma has an amazing amount of spicy hops with an equally big shot of dark, rich, vinous malt. Something like liquor soaked raisins. Yeast perceptible as well as a strong alcohol presence on the nose. Starts out very dry, with a rich barley flavor, dark rich figs and lightly sweet dates. Alcohol adds a great amount of dryness, the mouthfeel is surprisingly soft (relatively speaking). Hops add a high amount of acidity on the finish and there is a hint of thinning. For the alcohol and high gravity, this is very well done. Though the hops add some acidity, they are not highly bitter and this is much more along the lines of an English barley.